» UNESCO alarmed by rising number of attacks on education worldwide
04.02.2010 -

UNESCO alarmed by rising number of attacks on education worldwide

Teachers, students and school buildings are increasingly coming under attack by armed groups, even soldiers and security forces, says a report entitled “Education under Attack 2010” to be launched by UNESCO on 10 February at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

“Education under Attack 2010” reports incidents occurring in 32 Member States of the UN, ranging from the maiming of students on their way to school or the forced recruitment of child soldiers and suicide bombers, to the torture or killing of teachers and academics, to the total destruction of centres of learning. The study analyses targets and motives, as well as the impact of attacks – not only on education systems and learning outcomes but also on social, economic and political development. In addition, it examines measures taken to strengthen protection and prevention, and to end impunity for perpetrators of such attacks.


            This report will be launched together with a second UNESCO publication comprising papers written by experts in education, protection and international law. Entitled “Protecting Education from Attack: A State-of-the-Art Review”, this work takes critical stock of knowledge on prevention and response with respect to both international law and programmatic interventions on the ground. It also shares the recommendations generated by a seminar on increasing the protection of education, held in Paris in 2009.


The publication of these reports has been made possible by the generous support of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser al-Missned of Qatar, UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, whose work in recent years has helped bring the issue of attacks on education to the attention of international policy-makers and the wider public.


The reports will be launched in the presence of, among others, the Director for the Coordination of United Nations Priorities in Education at UNESCO, Mark Richmond, author of the Education under Attack studies, Brendan O’Malley, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, CEO of Education Above All, Christopher Talbot, and university researcher Félix Kaputu, who will share personal experience of attacks on higher education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


The findings of these reports are also due to be presented in Washington D.C. (on 12 February, at the Brookings Institution), Paris (10 March, at UNESCO) and Doha in May 2010.


“Education under Attack 2010” is the second report on this subject; the first was published in 2007.


             The launch will be held on 10 February, between 10 a.m. and noon in Room 5 of the new temporary building at the United Nations in New York. It will be broadcast live on the Internet.





Paris : Bernard Giansetto: +33(0) / b.giansetto(at)unesco.org

New York: Suzanne Bilello: +1.212.963.4386 / s.bilello(at)unesco.org


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